Ugandan-based Startup gnuGrid has recently increased its seed funding round to US$612,500 following its pivoting from cleantech to fintech.
The startup was launched by David Opio and James Dailey in 2019 with the aim of streamlining and automating the highly disintegrated solar field in Uganda and beyond by utilizing AI-optimised sensors to monitor solar systems and collect data on power usage used by solar companies to modify service delivery.
This hardware is bundled by gnuGrid with features like digital payments, predictive analytics, customer profiling, and data management, among others, to help solar companies operate more competently at a lower cost.
The cash generates from a handful of individual angel investors and gives gnuGrid a pre-money valuation of US$6.25 million.
The startup originally raised US$50,000 in 2019 to develop its tech engine, pilot, and launch the product into the market.
Presently, a change in the product now, with gnuGrid saying it has revolved to become a licensed credit reference bureau to assist many informal fiscal and formal institutions de-risk their investment and build reputational collateral for the last-mile credit consumers or borrowers.
Speaking on the raised fund, David Opio, Co-founder said:
“gnuGrid has the system necessary to onboard the millions of unbanked/tier four consumers in Uganda – all Africa, actually,”
“It is the first-ever local credit reference bureau licensed by the Bank of Uganda to provide credit reference services to enable lenders to know how borrowers repay their loans.”
Data hosting servers and a state-of-the-art customer care service center, onboard staff are all aided by the seed funding with a building of the CRB platform, and implementation of sales and marketing strategies. With the round now closed, gnuGrid is embarking on a US$10 million Series A raise, while working with PwC.
“The US$10 million raised will go into scaling the CRB services to the last mile informal financial institutions, collecting data from several credit providers, expanding the data hosting infrastructure, enhancing data security and protection, onboarding more staff members, and scaling the CRB solution to other Africa countries, starting with Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and Zambia,” added Opio.
David Opio and James Dailey launched Solar Sentra as a subsidiary of gnuGrid in 2019. A cleantech startup driving the energy transition through data.
Our flagship product, Solar Sentra is the next-generation PayGo system integrated with hardware that caters to the core business and technical necessities of solar companies.
Solar Sentra permits solar companies to manage the sale, delivery, installation, and after-sales services by helping them manage customer data, credit scoring, payments, installation mappings, and inventory among others.
The incorporated hardware includes energy sensors for keeping a track of energy consumption and a GSM microchip for tracking and preventing tampering with solar products by the customers.
Some of the other particular structures and functions of the hardware include measurement of sunlight intensity, detecting and alerting customers of overload, in-depth solar system diagnostics, real-time GPS location of devices, and system fault detection. The hardware design is for in-house.
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